Keeping it real The nine-time Hugo Award-winning artist on why he prefers things he can touch, things he can feel
In 2009, my mother passed away very suddenly and I inherited her house. Rather than selling it for a low price in a bad housing market, I turned it into a studio – one that functioned not just as an art studio, but also with a kitchen and other rooms, so that I’m able to sleep over when working late on a project.
I also have a shipping area and a photography area downstairs. My wife and I had to learn to photograph our own work, when art photographers folded up business.
I’ve been a professional artist for over 30 years, winning numerous awards, including the Hugo Award nine times. I work traditionally and have done so throughout my career. I’ve stayed so busy that doing
a digital learning curve is something I’ve simply not had time for. That said, we own something like six computers – mostly for email and processing photographed art via Photoshop, to send to clients fully colour-balanced.
I stand when I work, usually at an easel. You see it in the centre of this room, which has northern lighting exposure. Standing is better for you, generally speaking.
The best thing about separating where I work from where I live is that I feel like I go to the ‘office’ on a nine-to-five basis. During that time, I get things done, which means that I eat and sleep normal hours, unless I’m super busy.
The pictures show the main studio. My wife’s also in the same room, off to the extreme right. Outside is a completely unsuspecting bucolic neighbourhood. Inside, on canvas, I create monsters and destroy worlds. Bob Eggleton is one of the most decorated artists of his generation, and even has an asteroid named after him. Go and take a look at his work at www.bobeggleton.com.
My drawing table. I tend to work flat when drawing or working with watercolours or markers, and I work upright at the easel with oils and acrylics. I also have a TV to watch old sci-fi films on. My working paint area is an old cabinet repurposed. There’s no method to my madness – I just find colours that work. Yes, that’s a snooker cue I use as a maulstick. Works a charm. Brushes galore. There are art materials, sketches and canvases everywhere you look. I’m always thinking about a million things at any one time. The painting is for a cover of a book coming out called The Baen Big Book of Monsters, an anthology about giant monsters. Dream job.
Bookcases: there are never enough. There are always new books needing cases I don’t have (yet).
On the drawing table, books recently used for inspiration are on view, as is a sketch of something
I’m currently working up. Books outgrow bookcases in my world, so they stack up – books about movies and some classic fiction books, usually HP Lovecraft, Jules Verne and others. But the art books always occupy the lion’s share of things. I listen to music and even watch movies when working. I own something like 4,000 CDs and DVDs. I’m old school. I like physical things. Some of them can be seen here – and of course, toys that inspire me on a daily basis.